Japan’s shipping major Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) is taking over Gearbulk by acquiring a 72% stake in the company, making it a consolidated subsidiary company, by early next year.

Specifically, MOL has decided to undertake a business reorganization of its equity-method affiliate company, Gearbulk Holding AG from Kristian Jebsen.

Currently, Gearbulk Holding AG’s shareholders are MOL with 49% and Halberton Holding Ltd. (investment company of Kristian Jebsen) with 51%.

Gearbulk, which engages in the dry bulk carrier business with a focus on open-hatch vessels, controls a fleet of 60 vessels.

MOL acquired capital in Gearbulk in 1991 and made Gearbulk an equity-method affiliated company.

As the shipowner reveals, it has discussed with Halberton, and in order to strengthen the dry bulk business of the company, it has decided to make Gearbulk a subsidiary of the company.

It is believed that with this consolidation MOL will be able to offer a diverse range of transport services by a broad range of vessel types.

“The consolidation of Gearbulk creates synergies such as enhancing the expansion of the group’s business base by adding Gearbulk’s worldwide network, creating new business opportunities, and boosting the efficiency of vessel allocation,” reads MOL statement.